Often state-mandated meal periods can be waived if the employee would prefer to work through them, but a few states do not allow this practice. If your state does allow the meal period to be waived, it may require that the employee agree to it in writing. Whether or not the state requires this documentation, we strongly recommend it. The written agreement shows that any employees who skipped a meal period did so freely.
As long as you are within the bounds of state law, you are free to do whatever works best for your organization. For instance, if customers expect you to be open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, but employees are asking to work through (and thereby waive) their 30-minute lunch period so they can leave at 5:00 pm, there is nothing saying you must honor this request. But if it makes sense to let employees work through lunch so you can power down computers and turn off the lights 30 minutes earlier at the end of the day, you’re free to do that as well. Just make sure that you consistently apply your policies and that you document the legitimate business reasons when making any exceptions for a particular employee.
Crescent Payroll Solutions provides automated payroll solutions to all size companies.
Crescent is the alternative to the Big Payroll companies focusing on relationships with
our clients and keeping them happy and in compliance. Feel free to contact us at 504-301-
3318 for more information. We are proud to be a New Orleans Payroll Company.